Google starts testing Privacy Sandbox in Chrome and announces new user controls
Google’s attempts to replace browser cookies with a new solution have been met with a lot of criticism from privacy advocates and competitors. Google’s first attempt at phasing out cookies came in FLoC, short for Federated Learning of Cohorts, which Google deemed more private and better than cross-site tracking cookies. However, the company abandoned the feature following the backlash, proposing a replacement in the form of Topics API, which categorizes your interests into different topics that advertisers can target. Now Google has started testing the Topics API along with other features such as FLEDGE and Attribution Reporting.
In a blog post on Thursday, Google announced the next stage of testing for Privacy Sandbox features. As part of the trial, developers can now test out Topics, FLEDGE, and Attribution Reporting APIs in Chrome Canary. Google says it will soon expand these features to a limited number of Chrome Beta users, and assuming things go smoothly, the API testing will eventually be made available on the Chrome stable channel.
“Starting today, developers can begin testing globally the Topics, FLEDGE, and Attribution Reporting APIs in the Canary version of Chrome. We’ll progress to a limited number of Chrome Beta users as soon as possible. Once things are working smoothly in Beta, we’ll make API testing available in the stable version of Chrome to expand testing to more Chrome users,” said Vinay Goel, Product Director, Privacy Sandbox, Chrome.
Google says it’ll take into account feedback from developers and companies to further improve the APIs and make them broadly available in Chrome once it’s confident that they’re working as intended.
“Once we’re confident that the APIs are working as designed, we’ll make them broadly available in Chrome, allowing more developers to integrate, evaluate and provide feedback as we continue to optimize them for their use cases.”
Google will also soon start testing updated Privacy Sandbox settings and controls in Chrome, allowing users to see and manage interests collected by the browser based on their history. In addition, users can also opt out of the trials altogether.
Source: Google Chromium